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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a shallow well jet pump?

A.  A shallow well jet pump can be used in all applications where there is an adequate supply of water available within a vertical distance of 25 feet or less from the suction port of the pump to the pumping water level.

The shallow well jet pump is the most economical pump and is used for drawing water from cisterns, lakes, or shallow wells.

The “jet” action is done with a nozzle and venturi located inside the injector nose of the casing. By forcing the water through the nozzle, the water develops additional pressure and creates a suction. However, because this pump relies on atmospheric pressure, the total suction lift won’t be able to exceed 25 feet.

Q. What is a convertible jet pump?

A. A convertible jet pump can be used for most shallow well installations, and can also be “converted” for deep well applications at no extra cost. These pumps are constructed so that they have a removable injector assembly. By removing the injector from the casing of the pump and placing it in the well, the shallow well unit has been changed into a deep well unit.

The deep well configuration also uses two pipes. One pipe is used to carry water down to the jet. This pipe is referred to as the “drive pipe”. The second, “return” pipe, returns water back to the pump coming up from the jet and venturi. The return pipe, or suction pipe, is larger than the drive pipe because it carries all of the water from the jet, as well as the “new” water that is being drawn from the well.

Q. What do I need to know to replace my current jet pump?

A. When replacing an existing pump

• What is the current pump’s horsepower?

• What is its voltage?

• What is the flow (capacity) required? (Normally 1 GPM minimum for each fixture)

• Is it a shallow well or deep well jet? (One suction pipe or two)

• Is it a 4" Submersible?

• Is it a 2-wire or 3-wire version?

In retrofit applications, it is always best to match the horsepower of the pump that is being replaced. By switching to a higher horsepower pump without first checking the well conditions, the replacement pump might be oversized and pump at a higher flow rate than the well is able to replenish.


Q. My pump is in the well, what type of pump is that?

A. You would have a deep well submersible pump.  Although they look completely different, the deep well submersible pumps are actually a centrifugal pump. The pump and motor are joined together and submerged in water. This gives the pump a tremendous advantage over any other centrifugal pump. Most of its energy goes into “pushing” the water rather than fighting gravity and atmospheric pressure to draw water to it.

The submersible pump itself consists of several compact impellers, called “stages.” The number of stages in any pump depends on how far the water has to be lifted and on how much pressure is needed. The submersible motor is waterproof and is attached to the pump directly below the water intake screen.

Ideal for the supply of fresh water to rural homes, farms, and cabins that require lifting water up to 250 feet. (250 feet or more call us to discuss options).

Q. How do I tell if my submersible well pump is a 2 wire or 3 wire?

A. This is a common misunderstanding. “2-wire” pumps actually have three wires, and “3-wire” pumps have four. This is due to the ground wire that is not counted. Ground wires are green in color.

Q. Does my new submersible pump need a control box?

A. That depends if you are installing a “2 wire” or a “3 wire” submersible pump. All motors require a “starting mechanism.” The 2-wire starting mechanism, called a “BIAC switch,” is located inside of the submersible motor making it a simpler installation for a ‘Do-It-Yourselfer’ compared to a 3-wire pump installation. A 3-wire pump uses an additional wire and requires a separate control box containing the start mechanism for the style of pump. The benefit of installing a “3 wire” is if the control mechanism fails you do not have to pull your pump out to repair it, you simply replace the control box.

Q. Do I need a pressure tank and how do they work?

A. A pressure tank is needed in an automatic water system for several good reasons. First, it stores a reserve supply of water under pressure so the motor and pump do not cycle so often. This saves electricity because it takes more power to start a motor than to keep it running. Reducing the number of starts also saves wear on the motor and pump.

Inside the pressure tank, there is a rubber diaphragm that permanently separates the air cushion from the water. The water is contained inside the special poly-pro liner and never touches the steel.

As the water enters, the diaphragm begins to invert and the air pressure in the tank increases. When the pressure reaches 50 psi, the pump stops. The water pressure in the tank is also 50 psi.

When tap water is drawn, the air pressure behind the diaphragm forces water from the tank. When the air pressure in the tank again reaches 30 psi, the pump starts replacing the water drawn from the tank.


Q. What is a Constant Pressure Variable Frequency Drive?

A. A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), also known as a constant pressure pump, is a type of motor controller that drives an electric motor by varying the frequency and voltage supplied to the electric motor. VFD / Constant Pressure Pumps are designed to start and stop over and over again without causing damage to a pump's motor. The VFD (variable frequency drive) allows the motor to gradually ramp up to meet the actual flow and pressure demand within the range of the pump's performance capabilities. Unlike a traditional on demand pumps that come on at full speed every time they turn on, VFD pumps only run the motor at the speed that is needed to meet the demand for water. VFDs require a small tank to operate so they have a very small footprint.

Q. I have an effluent pump, can I use it to replace my sewage pump?

A.  Effluent pumps can be used in a sump installation because they can handle solids up to 3/4", which would prevent leaves, grass clippings, and other small debris from clogging the pump. We do not recommend using an effluent pump in a sewage application. Sewage pumps are designed to handle solids up to 2” solids and generally produce more flow than their effluent counterparts. These pumps are used to pump raw waste from a residence or business where gravity drainage is impossible to a gravity sewer, a septic tank, or a lift station.

Never use a sewage pump for a sump pump application. Because of the power of the sewage pump it will cycle on and off too frequently, which can shorten the life of the motor.

Q. I have a hot tub I want to drain, what type of pump would you recommend?

A. We recommend a utility/multi-purpose pump. These types of pumps are used for general dewatering or water transfer applications. They are small enough to carry, and may have a garden hose intake and/or discharge connections or adapters for the user’s convenience. Applications include pumping out hot tubs and swimming pools, emptying water heaters, removing standing water from low lying areas, bailing boats, pumping out flooded basements, irrigating lawns and gardens, and boosting water pressure.

Q. What information do I need to know prior to selecting a submersible well pump?

A. Here is a checklist questions we recommend you have answers for prior to contacting us:

1) Depth of your well (“feet” refer to well report)

2) Static water level (“feet” refer to well report)

3) Well recovery rate (“GPM” refer to well report)

4) Well size (jet pump min 2.5”, submersible well pump 4” to 6”) 

5) Distance from well head to house/cabin (is it level, inclined, declined)

6) What is the well servicing, house or cabin, number water fixtures

7) Available power supply (115V or 230V)

8) Where is the power supply in comparison to the wellhead

Q. How much water do I need for my house?

A. The GPM (gallons per minute) of the pump must equal the total number of fixtures. Fixtures include all faucets, toilets, and water consuming appliances (do not include water treatment appliances, such as a hot water tank or water filter). Example: A house with one full bathroom (sink, tub/shower, toilet), kitchen sink, basement sink, outside faucet, washing machine, and dishwasher would require 8 GPM.

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